That's My Jam

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Lil Mama – VYP: Voice of the Young People [Reviews]

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on February 16, 2011

Teenage rap artists often have a hard time balancing between the bulk of their fan base ― kids whose parents expect lyrics to fall in the PG range ­― and the genre’s incessant demand for hard-edged rhythms and explicit subject matter. Though Lil Mama doesn’t embrace the second portion of the latter, she manages to bridge beats with her pop radio-friendly rap on her debut, VYP: Voice of the Young People, with an appeal to all ages within the hip-hop generational gap.

On no track is this more true than on “Lip Gloss,” the hand clap-driven ode to makeup in which Lil Mama flows briefly with “no music” to demonstrate a rhyming ability rarely found in rappers her age. Though not everyone will relate to the topic, the melody alone is enough to ignite a party. And no playlist would be complete without “Shawty Get Loose,” the bouncy number featuring Chris Brown and T-Pain that screams to listeners to get up and dance (and it’s hard to resist the song’s summons).

The nursery rhyme melody of “G-Slide (Tour Bus)” borrows from “The Wheels on the Bus,” which explains why it’s so catchy, and the accompanying dance is enough to keep the song on repeat. Keeping in tune with the kids’ stuff, “Swim” is an interesting ditty that seems to be a new telling of the story of The Little Mermaid, only this time around, the guy Lil Mama’s eyeing says that he’ll join her under the sea.

“College” is definitely one of the more mature songs included on the album. Here, Lil Mama discusses some of the more complicated matters many face when first attending a university, such as no parental support and being recognized as an outsider among the school’s student body. Additionally, the acronymic “L.I.F.E.” is the mandatory “life is rough, but I’m going to persevere” inspirational track, complete with references to 2Pac, crack and a mom who wasn’t there.

Lil Mama can easily claim the title of the Voice of the Young People ― despite her gruff voice ― because of her confidence, and her ability to talk about childish topics and more grown-up material. Doing so allows her to relate to her peers, as well as those younger and older who may have had similar experiences. She also is able to do so over hip-hop beats that rival that of her contemporary competitors, securing her position for the meantime as the VYP.

That’s My Jam’s Rating:
5. Get It Now
4. Get It On Sale
3. Get It As a Gift
2. Get It To a CD Exchange Store
1. Don’t Get It At All

Track List:
1. “Intro”
2. “Lip Gloss”
3. “One Hit Wonder”
4. “Get Loose Request”
5. “Shawty Get Loose” feat. Chris Brown and T-Pain
6. “What It Is (Strike A Pose)” feat. T-Pain
7. “G-Slide (Tour Bus)”
8. “Gotta Go Deeper Skit”
9. “Stand Up”
10. “L.I.F.E.”
11. “College” feat. Yirayah
12. “Emotional Rollercoasters Skit”
13. “Broken Pieces”
14. “Swim”
15. “Truly In Love” feat. Peter Toh
16. “Look At My Life Skit”
17. “Make It Hot”
18. “Pick It Up”

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